Ken Clarke: Regret but no apology

The justice secretary has admitted to using the "wrong choice of words" on BBC Radio 5 Live today and "the impression" they gave that he thought not all rapes are equally serious was "not his view".

However, he told the BBC in his third round of interviews today that "I haven't apologised" because he believes he's been misquoted.

The interview followed one that I did just two hours earlier in which he rejected the idea he had anything to be sorry about.

Ken Clarke was defending his plans to cut in half the sentences of criminals who plead guilty long before they get to court as a means to reduce the trauma for rape victims as well as police and court time and money.

Here's an excerpt of my second interview with Mr Clarke:

Q: Ken Clarke a couple of hours I said to you - do you apologise for the language that you had used on rape and the offence that it had caused? Are you now?

A: Well my view is that all rape is a serious crime and if I have given the impression to people that that is not my view is obviously wrong, and the wrong choice of words, every rape is a serious crime

Q: It's clear now that you regret the way that the words have been seen. If you'll forgive me - have you been told that you should apologise?

A: No, and I haven't apologised as far as I am aware, I apologise if an impression has been given which is not my view and which I don't think I stated. But my view, let's be clear, is that all rape is serious. I am not proposing any change in the sentence for rape.

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